The Madhya Pradesh government's effort to protect big cats in the state will pass litmus test later this month when Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will conduct fresh tiger census. Besides MP, WII is also all geared up to start the census in 28 tiger reserves of the country.
Infact after sudden disappearance of tigers in Panna Tiger Reserve in MP, WII conducted intensive tiger census at the reserve under the aegis of government of India and Madhya Pradesh government in 2009. The results received were quite shocking.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Dr VB Mathur, Dean WII, and core member of tiger census team 2009 informed, “The census started from November 2008 and ended in June 2009 in Panna. We traced only one tiger till January 2009 that later disappeared.”
Nevertheless, WII is all set to start fresh tiger census in Madhya Pradesh, after three years. Training to more than 25000 forest staff was provided by WII team at various reserves of the state. Total 17 tiger states will be taken up for the census with 28 reserves.
According to WII authorities, forest staff will be sent to trace ground signs thereby identifying places of tiger inhabitation. The assembled data will be thoroughly analysed by WII officials in the first phase of survey.
Later, cameras will be installed for trapping tigers only at high density areas of forests. Informing about the findings of 2006 tiger census, Dr. Mathur said “As per 2006 census findings, Madhya Pradesh read 300 tigers on average, while range data was 236-364 tigers.”
Dr. Mathur notified that the census will start in mid December and will commence by mid February.